The head is small and the mouth large. Although a member of the left-eyed flounder family, about 40 percent of California halibut have their eyes on the right side. Young hatch with eyes on each side and one eye migrates to the other side as the young mature and the fish settle near the sea floor. The color is dark brown to black on the eyed side and white on the blind side. Their numerous teeth, very large mouth and a high arch in the middle of the "top" side above the pectoral fin make them easily distinguishable from other flatfish.
Nearshore waters on the west coast of North America, ranging from the Quillayute River in Washington to northern Baja California. They are most common south of Morro Bay, California.